O'Brien knew London and Paris, where shopgirls were common. But in New York, the stores only employed salesmen, even in departments selling exclusively to women. The work was seen as too hard for women -- but slaving as seamstresses was not. O'Brien protests this injustice in a witty fantasy about a labor-saving fabric clamp (the eponymous Sewing Bird) come alive. Topic: Audiobook - Poetry Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 21, issue 124 (September 1860).
A Union soldier thinks of his friend, imprisoned down South. Written in December 1861. O'Brien was a Union officer. He died from his wounds in April 1862. Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, War Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, February, 1862.
The classic poem continues with more fantasy Crusade adventure, as the siege of Jerusalem begins and one of the most prominent Crusaders is killed with a sharp piece of irony. A courtly love triangle from afar is revealed: the Christian knight Tancred, the Saracen lady knight Clorinda, and Erminia, the exiled Saracen princess of Antioch. Meanwhile, the wizard king of Damascus sends his niece, the lovely witch Armida, to seduce and destroy the Crusaders by any means possible. Then there's a... Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, romance, fantasy
An epic poem about the tragic Roman civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompeius (Pompey), which also figuratively chronicles Lucan's own realization that his good friend, patron, and new emperor, Nero, has become a danger to his people. The poem ends prematurely, because Lucan was executed for plotting to overthrow Nero. Immensely influential to Western civilization and a true classic, though sadly forgotten over the last hundred years (when folks should have read it). Translated by Sir Edward... Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, History Source: Pharsalia by Lucan, tr. by Sir Edward Ridley, 1896.
An epic poem and piece of historical fiction set during the First Crusade. This is considered one of the three great Italian epic poems, along with Dante's Divine Comedy and Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. The poem primarily focuses on Rinaldo and his hopeless love for a Saracen woman warrior, and on many historical personages made more romantic. Translation by Edward Fairfax; published in London, 1600. Part 2 | Part 3 Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, romance, fantasy
From the Golden Age of Spanish drama, this play is based on the legend of St. Patrick's Purgatory, a famous pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. It also references the Irish-origin legends about St. Patrick. Translated into English in the same verse meters as the original, and very well done, too. Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, Religion, Plays, St. Patrick's Day Source: English translation by Denis Florence MacCarthy